IVP - Strangely Dim - We Are Waiting for Christmas, Redux

November 25, 2009

We Are Waiting for Christmas, Redux

By David A. Zimmerman

This time every year I start feeling quite thankful, thank you very much, for the authors I have the opportunity to work with. (You'll find the most recent ones listed here.) It's a pretty trippy life you're living when random people ask you if you think someone you've started to call a friend is a heretic, or when people casually mention how their life has been changed by reading a book written by an author you just had breakfast with. So as usual, this year I'm thankful for all sorts of things, but among them are the friends I've made while bringing their books to print.

One such friend is Kimberlee Conway Ireton, who recently invited me to wax geeky on her blog about one of my favorite books, and whose own book has been really instructive for me over the past couple of years in how I might tether my personal faith to the way the church navigates through each calendar year. For Christians, the new year starts this weekend with the first week of Advent. This time last year I posted the following excerpt from Kimberlee's book The Circle of Seasons; I post it again here for your edifitainment.

 

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The coming of Christ into our midst requires that we rethink our desires and that we learn to hold them lightly, allowing the desire of God to supplant--or increase--our own desires.

If we were to observe Advent as the season of thoughtful reflection and repentance that it has traditionally been, we would have an opportunity to do just that: to rethink our priorities, to realign our lives with God's desires for us, to seek forgiveness and to start anew--the first Sunday of Advent, after all, marks the beginning of the church year. What better time to reflect, repent, receive forgiveness and so refresh our weary souls?

To spend the weeks before Christmas in this way would be radically countercultural, to be sure, but it would also serve to remind us that we are waiting for Christmas--and that the celebration of Christmas is worth waiting for.

The book goes on to offer really lovely experiential insights into the various seasons of the Christian calendar, from Christmas to Easter to Ordinary time, and all points in between. But for now it's a nice reminder at the end of a calendar year that the year of Emmanuel--God with us--is only just beginning.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at November 25, 2009 7:04 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments

Hey Dave, Thanks for these kind words about me and my book! I figure most people who are going to read this post already have, but just in case, I thought I'd put this out there: every Tuesday until Christmas on my blog, I'll be posting short excerpts from my book, reflections on Advent based on the traditional theme for each week.

Comment by: Kimberlee Conway Ireton at November 27, 2009 10:20 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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